AEW's Jon Moxley Opens Up About Alcoholism: 'I Was in a Living Hell'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 24, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 26: Jon Moxley in the ring during the AEW Dynamite - Beach Break taping on January 26, 2022, at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ahead of his match against New Japan Pro-Wrestling legend Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim AEW World Championship at Forbidden Door on Sunday, AEW star Jon Moxley opened up about his alcohol addiction and ongoing recovery.

In an interview with ESPN's Marc Raimondi this week, Moxley discussed what led up to him entering an inpatient alcohol treatment program on Halloween night last year.

Moxley told Raimondi that he was long addicted to alcohol and was "f--ked up for the better part of 18 years."

He said he essentially needed alcohol to function on a day-to-day basis and was afraid to stop after Googling the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, which included seizures, cardiac arrest and even death.

As a result, the former WWE and AEW world champion had gotten into a destructive routine of waking up hungover before chugging water, using the sauna and popping aspirin throughout the day.

When he could barely function after getting drunk before a flight home to his wife and three-month-old daughter, and was unable to take his daughter out trick or treating on Halloween, Moxley decided it was time to get help.

After a successful stint in the treatment program, Moxley returned to AEW about three months later in January and looked to be in spectacular physical condition compared to before.

Moxley said that while he has faced some challenges during his recovery, such as nightmares and mood swings, it has been a major improvement, saying: "I'll take this way over what I was going through before, especially the last several months [before treatment]. I don't know. It all blurs together. I was in a living hell—absolute hell."

Renee Paquette, Moxley's wife and a former WWE broadcaster, said Thursday that Moxley has been sober ever since he went to treatment nearly eight months ago.

Even before getting help, Moxley was considered one of the best wrestlers in the world, enjoying success in AEW, WWE and several other promotions across the world.

Since returning to wrestling in January, he has further established himself as one of AEW's biggest and most popular stars, earning himself a top spot on a historic pay-per-view.

On Sunday, Moxley will compete in one of the biggest matches of his career, main eventing a co-branded event run by AEW and NJPW.

If Moxley defeats Tanahashi, it will set the stage for a future AEW World Championship match between Moxley and CM Punk, which is among the most highly anticipated matches in wrestling.